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Peripheral Neuropathy

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I am currently service connected for neuropathy in both hands and feet at 10% each .

At a recent C/P examination, I told the examiner that my feet feel like they are asleep with a tingling, numbness and burning constantly in both feet. the diagnosis by the VA examiner stated, "Peripheral polyneuropathy of the feet bilaterally. This does not involve a particular nerve distribution but is in stocking distribution, consistent with polyneuropathy. This involves primarily the lower extremities. Regarding the connection between peripheral polyneuropathy in the lower extremities, this is at least as likely as not caused by diabetes. This is a well-described complication of diabetes."

Is the diagnosis consistant with my current rating of 10% each lower extremity or is this diagnosis more severe? I was not aware of the diagnosis until I requested a copy of the examination.

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I got 20% for DMII and 10% for neuropathy in both lower extermities This does get worse over time and will never improve. I would suggest you ask for an increase in benifits if this is the case. You could also get an EMG by asking your private Dr. to schedual one for you. This also could be a big help. Good luck

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Yes, and there are a couple of drugs for this condition that help. Neurontin and lyrica are the drugs that most doctors give for PN. You can look at the sechedule for rating disabilites to see how your symptoms compare with ratings. It is considered a nerve condition or neurological condition. It does get worse for many and spreads from the feet to the legs towards the center of the body. The big danger is that you injure your feet and are unaward due to numbness and get infections that end with amputation. Great news, right? It happened to a guy I know who had DMII and PN and ignored his foot injury until too late.

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I was AO rated 20% for DMII w/secondary PNrated 10% each lower extremity in July '07. Had nerve tests done at VAMC on my hands in '08. I have known the tech who did the tests longer than I've been going to the VA. He told me when he was done that my PN was moderate to severe in both hands. Surprise! Surprise! The staff neurologist only saw it as mild. I was trying to get an appt. with a pvt. neurologist but my SO insisted I should go ahead and file for increased benefits. Ifiled a claim in April '08. In July '08 had testing done on feet. Surprise again. Tech saw severe, staff neuro saw mild. In Jan '09 my rating was increased to 50%; 10% each lower and 10% each upper extremity.

In Mar. '09 I finally saw a private neurologist and after extensive testing, his DX was severe polyneuropathies in both hands and feet w/indication of neuropathy in lower back. Now my SO wants to file a NOD on the Jan. '09 decision.

I have learned that VAMC medical staff are paid be the VA and are therefore on the side of the VA.

If you can afford it, see a private Dr for a second opinion before you do anything.

Does anyone have any suggestion as to how I should handle my situation?

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Send in your private neurologist report as evidence to support a higher rating. As long as you get it to the VA before they make another decision it will be used as evidence. For the VA to rate you higher than 10% for PN you really have to have it bad. You have to have physical incapacity as in something besides the glove and sock type PN. I would stay in treatment with a private doctor and use his notes as evidence since this thing gets worse over time. You know PN moves from the hands and feet towards the center of the body. It can become disabling to the point you can't work. If you have severe PN due to DMII you may have other secondary conditions like cardiovascular problems. You need to monitor these things and not rely on the VA. How often do you get your eyes checked. It should be done once a year for diabetic complications.

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Cardio problems was the reason I started going to the VA in '01. Back then my ins was picking up the tab. In Dec '06 was diagnosed DMII. Filed claim for DMII, PN, CAD, Hearing Loss, Eyesight & ED. At C&P exam, dr gave me tickle test on feet. July '07 decision granted 20% for DMII, 10% for each lower extremity as secondary to DMII, denied hearing as multifactural causes, denied eyesight as not caused by DMII, denied ED as part and partial of DMII and denied CAD as diagnosed prior to diagnosis of DMII. (Hearing was denied although VA had already supplied me with 2 hearing aids free of charge.)

In Mar '08, at C&P exam for increased benefits for PN in hands, the examiner looked back through my early med records. He told me and put in writing that I met criteria for diagnosis of DMII in Mar '01. I wasn't diagnosed with CAD til Apr '01. I immediately filed a NOD on the CAD denial asking for a DRO hearing. No date has been set for a hearing yet.

As to the denied ED, in a Jan '09 decision granting increased benefits for PN of upper extremities, I was granted SMS for loss of use of ogran retro to July '07 decision.

Jan. of this year I had left heart cath which revealed a 60% stenosis of 1 artery. Drs wanted to try and control with meds. The only "med" they have me on now that I wasn"t already taking is

Omega 3 fish oil.

Last month I started having angina attacks. (let me mention here that I also have acid reflux desease and cardiac dysrythmia) Saw my VA cardiologist this past monday.He spent a good 30 min. trying to convince me that Iwas suffering from acid from acid reflux and not angina attacks. I thanked him and left. Have had many bouts with acid reflux and almost an equal number with angina. I KNOW THE DIFFERENCE!!! Went straight home and made an appointment for the 13th of this month with a pvt cardiologist.

Will let you know how it turns out.

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